M L Gammella’s Picture Choice: 2
Title: Another When - Part 8
I was struck dumb by what surrounded me. Everywhere, there were images of Margaret. Some were rough charcoal drawings that I assumed were done by Roger, while others were photos. What was more disturbing was some of those pictures were private, ones I had taken of my wife and printed in the privacy of my office. There was no way that anyone would have access to those pictures ... unless.
No, he woudn't have, could he?
Unless he broke into my house and stole them. My office had been ransacked when Margaret was killed, so somebody was there, but that hadn't happened yet here.
How many times had Roger been in our house? How many private things did he go through? I shuddered, feeling sick to my stomach, and continued on into the room. I still didn't know if Roger killed Margaret, but it certainly seemed quite likely. I needed to find some kind of evidence to really link him to the crime. So far, there wasn't anything here that said he was going to murder her, just that he was obsessed with her. I looked around, trying to see if anything stood out.
The closet. The closet door was ajar, the sliver of darkness beckoned me. Apprehension twisted in my gut as I reached out and pulled the door open.
After seeing the contents of the room, I shouldn't have been surprised by what I saw, but it was still shocking.
Hanging neatly in the closest were some of Margaret's clothes. I ran my fingers across the fabrics in confusion. Here was the red dress that Margaret couldn't find. The blue blouse that I loved to see her in. Even some of my clothes were in there, a simple white dress shirt and slacks. They were things that I had multiples of so I had no idea they were missing. When I reached the back of the small walk-in closet, there was a small table with a mirror resting on it and a few personal items.
Except the personal items weren't Rogers.
A memory filtered through the terror that griped his heart. Margaret had mentioned that she couldn't find her favorite hair brush a month or so before her death. Looks like this is where it ended up. Even more horrifying was the bag of hair that rested under the brush. It was the same color as Margaret's fine blonde hair. I had to fight the waves of nausea that threatened to overtake me.
Roger was a sick, sick individual. He hadn't killed Margaret yet, but he had stolen from her and myself. That alone I could have him arrested for, but I would have to come up with a good reason to explain how I knew he had our things.
I wrote down as much detail as I could, itemizing the things I knew were ours. I wish I had brought a camera, but this would have to do. It was better than nothing.
I had just finished up when the growl of a car engine cut through the air. The engine cut off and the car door slammed.
Shit, Roger was home.
I quickly walked out of the closet and the room, making sure I left everything as it was. If his house was anything like mine, there would be a balcony off the master bedroom and I would be able shimmy down the support posts and escape. But, he would most likely come into the master bedroom first after coming home.
I had to take the chance.
As quietly as I could, I danced on the toes of my feet to avoid making loud footballs. Roger had just entered the house as I entered his bedroom. I didn't have the luxury of time to investigate but nothing stuck out. The door to the balcony was locked and it took me a minute, a minute I could little afford to spend, to get the bolt to open. Finally, the lock released and the door swung open. The door shut much easier once I was on the other side of the door.
With a deep breathe, I crawled over the railing to the balcony and began the careful trek down the support posts. The door to the balcony swung open and I held my breath. I was far enough down the post that Roger shouldn't see me, but if he looked over the edge, he'd see me.
Luckily, Roger didn't seem suspicious. He closed the door and returned to his house. Perhaps he just wanted some fresh air. I honestly didn't care. I was just glad that he didn't look over the side. Without any further delay, I shuffled down the rest of the support and quickly left the property.
I didn't have a destination in mind. I wasn't sure where to go. My mind was overcome with what I had seen in Roger's house. It was just too crazy to imagine. Roger always seemed normal, a little on the odd side, but still normal.
My feet led me to the waterfront. Margaret and I had come here several times when the weather was nice. It wasn't far from our house and made for a nice walk.
Today, I was glad I was alone. I stopped on the boardwalk and looked out towards the water. Boats bobbled up and down in slight current while tied to the pier. Margaret and I had often talked about buying a boat. Just something else we never got to do.
My gaze rested on a bronze art instillation. I had seen it a thousand times before but the piece never really stood out until now. The crying woman, reaching out, beseeching to something, anything. Her face was carved deeply in the throes of loss.
I exactly knew how she felt.
M L Gammella lives in Ohio with her husband and their three pets. She is currently working on her first novel, a paranormal suspense based in Maine. Please follow her at @MLGammella and visit her website at Onward to the Written Word. #DailyPicspiration